So funny story about this recipe. It’s actually in our second cookbook, the one we published 3 years ago (I actually can’t even go there, because when that book was published, my toddler was a brand-new baby and I refuse to accept that he’s not that tiny little burrito snoozing away in his swing, so we’re going to say that all of this actually JUST happened, okay?) This is one I’ve been making very regularly for a longlonglong time now (like since my oldest was in high chair eating solid food for the first time, but I’m also in denial about the fact that he’s 10 1/2, sooo…). I frequently Instagram it, make it for other people, cook it with other people in the house, and everyone always asks for the recipe and I go to direct them to the blog and realize that it’s not here.


While we really try to keep cookbook-exclusive recipes exclusive to cookbooks, I feel like this easy weeknight chili recipe needs a permanent spot here on the blog. It’s packed with protein, low in calories, and literally loved by everyone I know who has made it, plus it’s quick and easy enough to make any day of the week (plus double it for leftovers the next day that will be even MORE delicious!)

Easy Weeknight Chili from Our Best Bites

From the produce section, you’ll need an onion, a bell pepper (any color works! If you bought one of those tri-color packages and are desperately looking for a way to use up that last pepper, this recipe is for you), and some garlic.

Easy Weeknight Chili-1

Give those a good chop and set aside.

Round up a pound of lean ground beef (I use 90% lean), a can of beans (I’m using kidney here and then decided I wanted black in there, too–this recipe is super-customizable depending on your mood! More about that later.), a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, and some beef broth. I was out of beef broth, but I used beef Better than Bouillon and 15 ounces of water, no big deal.

Easy Weeknight Chili-2

You’ll also need about a tablespoon of olive oil. I’m using our chili olive oil to add a little heat, but regular extra-virgin, basil, or garlic would also be delicious.

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Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, and green pepper and cook, stirring frequently. When the meat is cooked about halfway, add some chili powder, Italian seasoning, and black pepper

Easy Weeknight Chili-4

and stir to coat the meat completely.

When the meat has cooked completely, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Garnish with desired toppings.

Easy Weeknight Chili-6

Now…like I said, this recipe is super customizable, depending on your mood, personal preferences, and what you have on hand. Here’s a list of ways I mix it up:

*For additional good carbs (like if you’re South Beaching and find yourself dragging or not having enough energy to work out), add another drained can of beans.
*For smokey heat, replace half of the chili powder with chipotle chili powder.
*For more straight-up heat, add cayenne pepper. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and go from there.
*For more Tex-Mex flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander.
*If desired, you can replace the ground beef with lean ground turkey.
*Any color of bell peppers work–if you need to use up colored bell peppers, feel free!
*Mix up the shredded cheese–cheddar is great, but so is pepper jack.
*We top ours with saltines, Fritos, or Cheez-Its.
*We also top ours with chopped green onions or minced yellow, white, or red onions.

Easy Weeknight Chili from Our Best Bites

NUTRITION INFORMATION (for 6 servings, 10% lean ground beef, 1 can beans):
Calories: 237
Fat: 10 g
Carbs: 15 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugars: 3
Protein: 19


Easy Weeknight Chili

Delicious chili your whole family will love but easy enough to make any night of the week!


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I use 10% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can light kidney, black, or pinto beans, drained
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can beef broth or equivalent concentrated beef bouillon dissolved in 15 oz. water


  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, and green pepper and cook, stirring frequently. When the meat is cooked about halfway, add the seasonings and stir to coat the meat completely.
  2. When the meat has cooked completely, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Garnish with desired toppings.


3 reviews


  1. In our family we ALWAYS ate our chili with Italian bread covered in peanut butter on the side. As an adult, this really doesn’t make any sense to me, but growing up, I thought that was just what you did. When I was in college, my roommates and I were eating chili and I just got out the bread and peanut butter while they stared at me like a crazy person. Then one day when we were shopping for our meals for the week (we were like weird crazy organized meal planning college students, I don’t know what happened to me) and we were going to make homemade mac and cheese and my one roommate grabbed some blueberry muffin mix…for the blueberry muffins that you obviously ALWAYS serve with mac and cheese. I was glad I wasn’t the only one with weird family food combos. Anyway, only mildly related to this recipe, but sort of amusing.

    1. OMG I have to chime in because I thought I was the only one. All my life I firmly believed that the appropriate accompaniment for spaghetti and also for beef stew was…blueberry muffins!

      It makes me wonder what weird things I am teaching my daughter that I think are completely normal – that she will only realize when one day she produces a delicious batch of muffins to go with her future mother-in-law’s beef stew…and no one understands why. Hehe!

      1. The correct side dish for spaghetti is peas. Always. Not sure about beef stew. This is a very amusing thread.

        The chili sounds fantastic. As soon as it isn’t 100 degrees where we live I totally want to make it.

      1. We always have chili with fry bread. Yum!…but now I wonder if by some stretch of the imagination that is weird? Now I have Jim Gaffigan ringing in my head. “It isn’t fried bread, its FRY BREAD…command form!” lol 🙂

  2. I totally made this for dinner last night! It is easily a favorite at our house, my son even asked for some for his lunch at school today. Really wishing I had had enough of the ingredients to double it. At my ward’s Trunk or Treat last year, I actually won one of the awards for the chili cook off with this recipe! Thanks for a great recipe my whole family loves!!!

  3. I always hated chili growing up, and never even tried making it until about 2 years ago when my husband signed me up to bring chili to a ward party. So I pulled out your cookbook and made this chili. Turned out the ward party was actually a chili cook-off … and I won! We laughed about that for a long time. Oh, and even I like this chili, and make it regularly now in the fall/winter.

  4. Love love love this recipe! I’ve been making it since your cookbook came out, and it’s great because I usually have all the ingredients on hand. We eat it with cornbread. The classic kind, not the weird kind with corn in it. 🙂

  5. Will definitely have to try this!
    BTW, what font did you use for “weeknight chili” in your graphic? I love love love it!

  6. I’ve made this several times, it’s a favorite! Glad it’s on the blog now so I can share it more easily when folks ask for the recipe, cause that happens. 🙂

  7. This is a family favorite. When I ask my kids what they want for dinner it’s always this or pizza. Pretty good company. I always do two cans of beans and we eat it with tortilla chips dip style.

  8. I am loving your healthy recipes, only i need the saturated fat for my weight wathcers conversion! Can you guys add those to future recipes?

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